You have a passion for photography but your funds currently won’t allow you to splash out on a top SLR camera. Don’t stress, because that point and shoot camera in your pocked is more than capable of doing a terrific job. Yes, it may be small and without special lenses, but a little experimentation can allow you to snap photos that any pro would be proud of. The problem that most amateur photographers armed with point and shoot cameras make, is their technique. The more you learn about photography, the more you will understand that traditional methods of capturing a moment are outdated and boring, here are some tips to help you improve:
Centered subjects are boring:
Chances are, the first time you took a picture of your friends or family, you lined them up, stood back, pointed and clicked. Yes, these standard photographs are great for marking an occasion or keeping a record of all who attended your event, but it certainly is not interesting. Using the auto-focus features on your camera, attempt to capture your subject off the center of your target. This adds a more intriguing feel and also gives you a chance to better display what’s going on around the subject. For more interesting profile pictures, why not get close or try different angles instead.
Work your flash:
Photos at night can be better without your flash. Yes, you heard that correctly. The flash produces inconsistent quality in poorly lit areas, normally highlighting the subject in the middle and drowning everything else out. There is not really a way out of this with point and shoot digital cameras as the flash is too close to the lens, due to the compact size of the camera. Try turning off the flash and using natural light to highlight all the features of your subjects. You will need to experiment with shutter speed and find ways to keep the camera steady for the required amount of time. Try using a table, leaning against a wall and holding the camera as close to your body as possible to avoid getting blurred results.
The on-camera flash can be useful and shows its best result when taking a photograph with a well lit area in the background. This will remove the silhouette effect.
Forget the fancy features:
Unfortunately, camera companies are always adding a new gimmick to digital cameras to boost advertising potential. The truth is, digital zoom is terrible, while blink and smile detectors can be more than a little annoying. Nikon learnt this lesson a while ago when their blink detection feature couldn’t tell the difference between someone who was blinking and an Asian person.
Use the presets available:
While learning more about manually setting your camera, make use of the presets to get better results. Many amateurs will simply select on preset and use that setting for every photograph. Many cameras feature: Action, Landscape, Macro, Night Portrait and Portrait presets. Try these out in various scenarios to see the difference.
Get those point and shoot cameras out of your pockets or handbags and capture life – properly.
About Guest Author:
Jason Acar is a vastly experienced journalist with an interest in experiencing adventure all over South Africa. He has written many articles on digital cameras and his tips when buying a camera.